25 May 2017, sabc.co.za.
Health officials from more than 180 countries have for the first time elected an African as the leader of the World Health Organisation.
Delegates at the World Health Assembly in Geneva chose Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to be the next director-general. He was Ethiopia’s former Health Minister.
South Africa’s Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, was in Geneva when Ghebreyesus was elected.
“It means a lot because the WHO is a prime organisation on health issues and at the helm you have someone who understands the hardships of Africa, who comes from Ethiopia, who was a minister of health and understands what the continent is going through.
“When he was addressing us he said he is concentrating on primary health care. There is a great move around the world that health care systems must move away from being curative centric healthcare systems and move to stronger primary health care systems. Africa needs that primary health care more than any other continent.”
Ghebreyesus will succeed Margaret Chan from Hong-Kong.